The Intensive Care Lifeboat: a survey of lay attitudes to rationing dilemmas in neonatal intensive care

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:69
Authors: C. Arora, J. Savulescu, H. Maslen, M. Selgelid, D. Wilkinson
“Resuscitation and treatment of critically ill newborn infants is associated with relatively high mortality, morbidity and cost. Guidelines relating to resuscitation have traditionally focused on the best interests of infants. There are, however, limited resources available in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), meaning that difficult decisions sometimes need to be made. This study explores the intuitions of lay people (non-health professionals) regarding resource allocation decisions in the NICU.”
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Is the NHMRC funding process fair?

The Conversation, 2 November 2016
Author: Gaetan Burgio
“Last week’s announcement of funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council NHMRC provoked mixed reactions. Australia’s leading biomedical research funding agency allocated A$190 million for a range of projects, including centres of excellence to find a solution to alcohol-related health problems in Aboriginal populations, and research into stillbirth. However, some researchers are left questioning how the NHMRC chooses which research to fund and whether the very process of how funding applications are assessed gives some types of researchers or research an unfair advantage.”
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NHS drug suppliers investigated over prices

The Guardian, 26 October 2016
Source: Press Association
“The competition watchdog has launched an investigation into drug companies accused of charging the NHS excessive prices. The CMA said: “The investigation relates to suspected unfair pricing by way of charging excessive prices in the supply of certain pharmaceutical products, including to the National Health Service.” An investigation by the Times alleged that companies faced limited competition on long-established, off-patent drugs, bought from large pharmaceutical firms.”
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‘Like doctors in a war’: inside Venezuela’s healthcare crisis

The Guardian, 19 October 2016
Author: Jonathan Watts
“The country’s devastating economic downturn is ravaging its hospitals, where acute shortages threaten to reverse decades of progress. Despite its immense oil wealth, the country is in the midst of devastating economic, social and health crises. It has the world’s steepest economic decline, the second highest murder rate and the sharpest-rising inflation. These problems all converge in the nation’s hospitals, where doctors report rising levels of mortality thanks to a dire shortage of medical supplies, shutdowns of operating theatres, staff declines and violent crime, including gunshots during surgery and mugging in corridors.”
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Suicide risk ‘higher in community’

BBC, 6 October 2016
Author: Michael Buchanan
“Suicides of people being cared for in the community are higher than among hospital inpatients, a report says. There are around 200 suicides a year of people cared for by crisis teams – three times the number in hospitals. The University of Manchester report suggests crisis teams in the UK are under too much pressure. Crisis resolution/home treatment (CRHT) teams are made up of psychiatrists, mental health nurses, social workers and support workers.”
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Stafford hospital suspends ‘unsafe’ children’s A&E

The Guardian, 25 August 2016
Author: Haroon Siddique
“A Staffordshire hospital has suspended its A&E service for children after senior staff said it was “not currently clinically safe”. The drastic measure came after County hospital in Stafford was found to have insufficient staff trained to the required level in resuscitation and life-support for children. University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS trust advised parents not to bring their children to the hospital, and instead to take them to a GP or pharmacist in the case of minor illness or injury, or to call 999 in the event of an emergency.”
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More doctors becoming specialists but a shortage of GPs, AIHW report warns

SMH, 24 August 2016
Author: Harriet Alexander
“The medical workforce has become skewed to specialist doctors while the number of general practitioners has barely changed in 10 years, in a trend that threatens to undermine the federal government’s push for better primary care. General practitioners also had the highest proportion of doctors aged over 55 of any clinician group.”
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Pay doctors to keep patients healthy rather than just for treating illness

The Conversation, 4 August 2016
Author: Peter Sivey
“While Australia’s health system compares well internationally, costs are rising. Health policy experts are becoming increasingly concerned about how the fragmentary nature of our health system can cope with the challenges of the 21st century. The root of these concerns lies in the antiquated fee-for-service payment system for doctors. The lessons from current experimentation in Obamacare and beyond should inform our own policies to address chronic disease needs through payment reform.”
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Required translators missing from many U.S. hospitals

Reuters, 11 August 2016
Author: Ronnie Cohen
“Nearly one-third of U.S. hospitals fail to offer interpreters to patients who speak limited English, although federal law requires it, a new study shows. One in 10 adults in the U.S. struggle to communicate in English, census data show. Private, not-for-profit hospitals were far more likely to offer translation services than private for-profit and government hospitals, the study found.”
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Your postcode shouldn’t determine your health – or whether you’re admitted to hospital

The Conversation, 25 July 2016
Author: Stephen Duckett
“People ending up in hospital for diabetes, tooth decay, or other conditions that should be treatable or manageable out of hospital is a warning sign of system failure. And Australia’s health system is consistently failing some communities. A Grattan Institute report, Perils of place: identifying hotspots of health inequalities, identifies a number of geographical areas where high rates of potentially preventable hospital admissions have persisted for a decade.”
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